Posts Tagged ‘2007 patriots’

Unabated to the QB, Week 5: Perfect No More

“Everything perfect of its kind must transcend its kind: it must become something other, something incomparable.”

“Certain shortcomings are essential for the individual’s existence.”

–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities

It was a thrilling moment on Sunday, when those underdog Indianapolis Colts were able to hang on and defeat the NFL’s decade-long behemoth, the Kansas City Chiefs, to finally end yet another run at perfection.

Wait, what?

The Colts did beat the Chiefs, but that’s about the only aspect of that sentence that’s accurate — unless you find field-goal kicking especially thrilling. And now, just five weeks into the NFL season, there are no unbeaten teams left.

Kinda sad, right? A potential season-long storyline gone, right? A chance at historical transcendence done with, right?


Well, sort of wrong.

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Aught Lang Syne: Teams of the Decade

Later today, we’ll look into Franchises of the Decade—which is how most people define “Teams of the Decade.” But right now, we’re going to be specific with our terms and figure out who were the best single-season teams in each sport in the Aughts, along with the best teams that fell short of a title and the worst teams that happened to win one.


3. 2000 Baltimore Ravens

Their defense was the single best unit of the Aughts—good enough to overcome that weak offense. They won every game in which they scored a touchdown, which included their last 11 after a 5-4 start and a quarterback change.

2. 2003 New England Patriots

The first iteration of a seemingly unbeatable Patriots’ squad and the only No. 1 seed to win the Super Bowl in the Aughts, this is the team that ran off 15 straight wins after a 2-2 start en route to their second Super Bowl in three years. It will be interesting to see if this decade’s Patriots are remembered more for this team—similar to the other title-winners, it possessed an excellent defense and a solid offense that wore you down on the ground and always made just enough plays to win—or the ’07 version that stomped teams and ran up the score.*

*Cool Stat: The ’03 Patriots opened the season with a 31-0 loss to the Bills and closed the season with a 31-0 win over the Bills. I wonder if that has ever happened before. Continue reading

Aught Lang Syne: The Sporting Decade

The defining sports game of this decade occurred at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 3, 2008. That night, in a game that moved about as quickly as the clock in Tecmo Super Bowl, the New York Giants upset the unbeaten New England Patriots, 17-14, to win Super Bowl XLII.

It is debatable whether Super Bowl XLII is the single best game across sports in the Aughts; however, it is almost certainly the game that crystallizes the two competing movements in sports this decade: the quest for historical transcendence and the ascension of the postseason underdog.

Sports are too broad and diverse a subject to write a coherent essay that addresses what happened in the Aughts. Too much happened to be melded into a sustainable theme or argument. And although for many the story of the Aughts is what occurred off the field—be it scandals surrounding performance-enhancing drugs, referees, or personal conduct—to me, the defining narrative of sports in the Aughts is of those two competitors in Super Bowl XLII: the unbeaten Patriots and the pedestrian Giants.

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